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30 March 2021
Will Asia's eco-tourism trend last?
Corporate social responsibilityEnvironmental & social issuesTransport & tourism (general)
Growing numbers of Asian tourists are reportedly re-examining the way they travel and looking for ways to make it more sustainable.
Why it matters
The trend, already under way before the pandemic struck, has only accelerated since, Nikkei Asia reports. But some doubt current demand for eco-friendly travel, which puts more emphasis on destinations in the region rather than long-haul favourites like Europe and the US, will be maintained once populations are vaccinated and borders fully re-opened.
Companies across the travel sector are responding to the demand for more sustainable tourism, with the most obvious changes being airlines trying to cut their carbon footprint.
One school of thought holds that destinations need to shift their focus from bringing in as many tourists as possible to maximising economic benefits with fewer visitors.
Another says it is inevitable that pent-up demand and the needs of travel companies to win business will drive a focus on big discounts and consumption, particularly in those areas that relied on budget travellers pre-pandemic.
“We believe that as a result of lockdowns and reflection, people have become more conscious about the environment and the world we live in. As they plan their travel, we believe that they are looking for opportunities to have some more meaningful travel” – Bart Buiring, chief sales and marketing officer of Marriott International Asia Pacific.